Lexus’ first-ever plug-in hybrid is nearly here

Lexus New Zealand has confirmed the local NX SUV range, featuring the plug-in hybrid version as its range-topper, is nearly here.

The NX 450h+ is the first plug-in hybrid from Lexus, arriving here exclusively in F-Sport trim. It uses a four-cylinder 2.5-litre engine paired with a 134kW motor on the front axle, a 40kW rear electric motor, hybrid transaxle and a lithium-ion battery with 18.1kWh capacity.

All in, the system produces 227kW, enough to send the SUV to 100kmh in 6.3 seconds while only leaving 29g/km of CO2 in its wake.

The Lexus NX SUV is nearly here, bringing plug-in hybrid power to the brand for the first time.

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The Lexus NX SUV is nearly here, bringing plug-in hybrid power to the brand for the first time.

When used frugally, the NX 450h+ will sip as little as 1.3L/100km of fuel. Electric-only range is impressive, with a claimed 87km available.

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Two other NX models will be offered, both based around the NX 350h, the base model being front-wheel drive, supplemented by an all-wheel drive version.

The NX 450h+ generates 227kW of total system power from its plug-in hybrid powertrain.

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The NX 450h+ generates 227kW of total system power from its plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The 350h uses the same 2.5-litre engine along with either one or two motors, depending on FWD or AWD Limited specification. Lexus New Zealand didn’t confirm the exact power figures, but we would expect around 139kW/237Nm.

“The new NX is a massive step forward for Lexus in both technology and electrification,” said Lexus New Zealand General Manager Andrew Davis.

“With the addition of the PHEV to our overall range we take another step forward on our carbon-neutral journey, now having a HEV, BEV (the UX 300e) and PHEV offering for customers.”

A fresh interior is part of the new NX.

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A fresh interior is part of the new NX.

Both powertrains use an electronically controlled CVT as the sole transmission.

As part of the move to the GA-K platform, the new NX gets MacPherson struts in the front and a trailing arm, double-wishbone design in the rear. The 450h+ F-Sport will get adaptive variable suspension. Lexus says that, as a result of the platform changes, cabin noise has been reduced by 15 per cent compared to the last generation.

The usual array of active safety systems will be included, like radar cruise control that can go down to standstill, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, lane change assist and front cross-traffic alert.

Full specification will be confirmed closer to the 2022 launch, but pricing has been revealed, with the 350h FWD hybrid kicking off the range at $92,700, while the AWD 350h Limited hybrid lands at $101,900. The 450h+ AWD F Sport PHEV tops the range at $107,900

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